On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: December 11, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


The Lord has come to redeem us! Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Through the intercession of the saints in heaven and on earth many of us have been healed and set free to live, love and serve the Lord our God with joy.

For many of us were paralysed by our sins. We were held hostage by sinful desires and pleasures. Leading selfish lives heading no where. Jesus has set us free by forgiving our sins. Let us bring others to Him so that they too can be set free.

Lord Jesus forgive us, our many sins. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 35:1-10

The return of the redeemed through desert

Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult, let the wasteland rejoice and bloom, let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,
let it rejoice and sing for joy.

The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God.

Strengthen all weary hands, steady all trembling knees and say to all faint hearts,
‘Courage! Do not be afraid.

‘Look, your God is coming, vengeance is coming, the retribution of God; he is coming to save you.’

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame shall leap like a deer
and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy;for water gushes in the desert streams in the wastelandthe scorched earth becomes a lake,the parched land springs of water.

The lairs where the jackals used to live become thickets of reed and papyrus…

And through it will run a highway undefiled which shall be called the Sacred Way; the unclean may not travel by it, nor fools stray along it.

No lion will be there
nor any fierce beast roam about it, but the redeemed will walk there, for those the Lord has ransomed shall return.

They will come to Zion shouting for joy, everlasting joy on their faces; joy and gladness will go with them and sorrow and lament be ended.

Gospel
Luke 5:17-26

Jesus was teaching one day, and among the audience there were Pharisees and doctors of the Law who had come from every village in Galilee, from Judaea and from Jerusalem. And the Power of the Lord was behind his works of healing. Then some men appeared, carrying on a bed a paralysed man whom they were trying to bring in and lay down in front of him. But as the crowd made it impossible to find a way of getting him in, they went up on to the flat roof and lowered him and his stretcher down through the tiles into the middle of the gathering, in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith he said, ‘My friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ The scribes and the Pharisees began to think this over. ‘Who is this man talking blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ But Jesus, aware of their thoughts, made them this reply, ‘What are these thoughts you have in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven you” or to say, “Get up and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’– he said to the paralysed man– ‘I order you: get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.’ And immediately before their very eyes he got up, picked up what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
They were all astounded and praised God, and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’

On belonging

Posted: December 10, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Have you felt the love of belonging to the body of Christ regardless of your geolocation or background?

I felt it in my most recent WhatsApp conversation.

Me: Peace dear, I indicated that I was attending the four steps retreat next Sat on Facebook. Do I still need to register?

Sister Himaya : Praise the lord! No need, I always count you in even if you don’t register 😊

Second Sunday of Advent

Posted: December 9, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Straighten the Path: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Second Sunday of Advent

Readings:
Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11
Psalm 85:9-14
2 Peter 3:8-14
Mark 1:1-8

Our God is coming. The time of exile—the long separation of humankind from God due to sin—is about to end. This is the good news proclaimed in today’s liturgy.

Isaiah in today’s First Reading promises Israel’s future release and return from captivity and exile. But as today’s Gospel shows, Israel’s historic deliverance was meant to herald an even greater saving act by God—the coming of Jesus to set Israel and all nations free from bondage to sin, to gather them up and carry them back to God.

God sent an angel before Israel to lead them in their exodus towards the promised land (see Exodus 23:20). And He promised to send a messenger of the covenant, Elijah, to purify the people and turn their hearts to the Father before the day of the Lord (see Malachi 3:1, 23–24).

John the Baptist quotes these, as well as Isaiah’s prophecy, to show that all of Israel’s history looks forward to the revelation of Jesus. In Jesus, God has filled in the valley that divided sinful humanity from Himself. He has reached down from heaven and made His glory to dwell on earth, as we sing in today’s Psalm.

He has done all this, not for humanity in the abstract, but for each of us. The long history of salvation has led us to this Eucharist, in which our God again comes and our salvation is near. And each of us must hear in today’s readings a personal call. Here is your God, Isaiah says. He has been patient with you, Peter says in today’s Epistle.

Like Jerusalem’s inhabitants in the Gospel, we have to go out to Him, repenting our sins, all the laziness and self-indulgence that make our lives a spiritual wasteland. We have to straighten out our lives, so that everything we do leads us to Him.

Today, let us hear the beginning of the Gospel and again commit ourselves to lives of holiness and devotion.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: December 9, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Can you remember a time when you did not know the Lord? Had not encountered Him? Even as a cradle Catholic? What was your life like? Was it not empty constantly needing to be filled with something yet always found lacking? Peace of mind was constantly sought.

Then through instruments of His grace, the people He sent your way. You heard His word, the good news of salvation. The kingdom of God opened for you and how you were deeply touched and moved into conversion. How you were given much needed healing. Now you able to listen to the voice of the Lord who guides you.

Today you are called to be an instrument of the very graces you received. Go Therefore and make disciples of all nations. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 30:19-21,23-26

Thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
People of Zion, you will live in Jerusalem and weep no more. He will be gracious to you when he hears your cry; when he hears he will answer. When the Lord has given you the bread of suffering and the water of distress, he who is your teacher will hide no longer, and you will see your teacher with your own eyes. Whether you turn to right or left, your ears will hear these words behind you, ‘This is the way, follow it.’ He will send rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the bread that the ground provides will be rich and nourishing. Your cattle will graze, that day, in wide pastures. Oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat a salted fodder, winnowed with shovel and fork. On every lofty mountain, on every high hill there will be streams and watercourses, on the day of the great slaughter when the strongholds fall. Then moonlight will be bright as sunlight and sunlight itself be seven times brighter– like the light of seven days in one– on the day the Lord dresses the wound of his people and heals the bruises his blows have left.

Gospel
Matthew 9:35-10:1,5,6-8

Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness.
And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’
He summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: ‘Go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. You received without charge, give without charge.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: December 8, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

See how marvelous and wonderful are the intricate plans of God our Father for the love of us. Our first parents who were created perfect and blameless brought sin and death into the world by their disobedience. Mary born without sin, blameless became for us a new Eve, she is indeed the mother of us all and the living God;Jesus whom she would bring into the world, a new Adam, perfect, Holy without sin. Through Him we have hope of life everlasting.

And so sisters and brothers in Christ. let us model our lives after the new Adam and new Eve who were obedient in every way to the Word and will of God our Father. Let us be guided by the Holy Spirit to live out our lives in union with the Lord our God now and forever. Amen
Dearest blessed mother Mary pray for us…

First reading
Genesis 3:9-15,20

After Adam had eaten of the tree the Lord God called to him. ‘Where are you?’ he asked. ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden;’ he replied ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’
Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, ‘Be accursed beyond all cattle, all wild beasts. You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust every day of your life.
I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. It will crush your head and you will strike its heel.’

The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live.

Second reading
Ephesians 1:3-6,11-12

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ.
Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence, determining that we should become his adopted sons, through Jesus Christ for his own kind purposes, to make us praise the glory of his grace, his free gift to us in the Beloved, And it is in him that we were claimed as God’s own, chosen from the beginning, under the predetermined plan of the one who guides all things
as he decides by his own will; chosen to be,
for his greater glory, the people who would put their hopes in Christ before he came.

Gospel
Luke 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: December 7, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Unless we put our faith into action, our praise and thanksgiving to the Lord our God means nothing. We have taken His word for granted and chosen what we want to hear and believe.

For it is only a humble heart who worships the Lord with ardour will be able to listen to His voice and follow after Him. A disciple ready to serve in any situation to glorify the Lord’s name. One who is grounded on the living Word of God.

A contrite heart You will not spurn Lord. Put a steadfast spirit within me as I seek to serve You faithfully. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 26:1-6

That day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city; to guard us he has set wall and rampart about us. Open the gates! Let the upright nation come in, she, the faithful one whose mind is steadfast, who keeps the peace because she trusts in you. Trust in the Lord for ever, for the Lord is the everlasting Rock; he has brought low those who lived high up in the steep citadel;
he brings it down, brings it down to the ground, flings it down in the dust: the feet of the lowly, the footsteps of the poor trample on it.

Gospel
Matthew 7:21,24-27

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: December 6, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Who can love us more deeply? It is the Lord our God.

Who will love us more wholly, without reservation? It is the Lord our God.

Who will pick us up when we fall and clean us off. It is the Lord our God.

Who will tend to our wounds, heal our ailments and set us free? It is the Lord our God.

Who worries for us and sees to our well being? It is the Lord our God.

Let us then be obedient unto Him, listen to His word;strive for Holiness as we build His Kingdom. Now and forever. Amen

First  reading
Isaiah 25:6-10

On this mountain,
the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples
a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines,
of food rich and juicy, of fine strained wines.
On this mountain he will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples, and the shroud enwrapping all nations, he will destroy Death for ever.
The Lord will wipe away
the tears from every cheek;
he will take away his people’s shame everywhere on earth, for the Lord has said so.
That day, it will be said: See, this is our God in whom we hoped for salvation; the Lord is the one in whom we hoped.
We exult and we rejoice
that he has saved us; for the hand of the Lord rests on this mountain.

Gospel
Matthew 15:29-37

Jesus reached the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and he went up into the hills. He sat there, and large crowds came to him bringing the lame, the crippled, the blind, the dumb and many others; these they put down at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were astonished to see the dumb speaking, the cripples whole again, the lame walking and the blind with their sight, and they praised the God of Israel.
But Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them off hungry, they might collapse on the way.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Where could we get enough bread in this deserted place to feed such a crowd?’ Jesus said to them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ ‘Seven’ they said ‘and a few small fish.’ Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves and the fish, and he gave thanks and broke them and handed them to the disciples, who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected what was left of the scraps, seven baskets full.